For the 26th year, people from all over the region will flock to Brooklet for a day of entertainment, contests, festival attractions and peanuts — boiled, roasted and even fried — as the annual Brooklet Peanut Festival unfolds.
Starting the day with a foot race, the event includes a parade, a slow tractor race, kids' attractions and musical entertainment of all kinds, said Randy Newman, chairman of the Brooklet Community Development Authority.
The event is a fundraiser for the BCDA, with proceeds used for beautification projects and two annual scholarships, he said.
The festival is held in the heart of downtown Brooklet, where a pavilion, tents for resting and several vendor booths offer a variety of arts and crafts, as well as all kinds of food, Newman said.
Funnel cakes, hamburgers, barbecue, pork skins, frozen drinks, lemonade, baked goods and, of course, all kinds of peanuts will be available, and vendors traditionally offer plants, wood crafts, clothing and accessories and toys, he said. An improvement made to the grounds includes more electrical outlets for vendors.
Other improvements include more rest tents for visitors, water-cooled fans and an EMS trailer where overheated or ill visitors can cool off and be treated for any discomfort or illness, he said.
Volunteers offer a free shuttle service with designated shuttle stops to help transport people from the parking areas to the festival.
The Peanut Run race begins at 7 a.m., followed by a parade at 10 a.m., with Tom and Sandy Bigwood as grand marshals. The festival also opens at 10 a.m.
Live entertainment throughout the day leads to a street dance at 7 p.m., with two new bands — Southern Crossroads and headliner Two to Fly. The dance ends at 10:30 p.m., when everyone is asked to vacate the festival site, Newman said.
The slow tractor race, where competitors see how slow their tractors can go without choking out, begins at noon on Warnock Street. According to the festival website (www.brookletpeanutfestival.com), the tractor races have been a popular attraction for years. A kiddie pedal tractor race sets off the event, followed by the slow tractor race immediately following. The pedal tractor race features age divisions.
For more information on the 5K Peanut Run, contact Toby Davis at (912) 823-3668. Those with questions about the parade should call Newman Randy at (912) 842-2325. Questions about the tractor races should be directed to Lloyd or Dee Strickland at (912) 842-2160.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.